Monday, February 9, 2015

Comfort zone and then the opposite

Our next night was at a campsite we often use in the heart of Huesca. It's cheap in the winter due to a seasonal discount and we usually treat ourselves to a meal in their bar restaurant. The steaks are cooked over wood embers and are usually very good, sadly not this time though but never mind.

Our plan from here was to look at some Aires along our route towards the western end of the Pyrenees where we planned to cross into France.

This is where our comfort zone finished! As we left Huesca in freezing weather the skies soon changed from bright and sunny blue to heavy grey and all the roadside warnings were telling us the obvious - snow!

Well it wasn't long before the white stuff appeared and increased in strength. Our target was Jaca to some official parking by the fort. We got to Jaca, which was lovely in the snow, but there was no way we would have been able to access the parking with maybe a foot of snow on the side roads leading to it. So finding somewhere to turn around, no mean feat, we headed off towards Pamplona. This meant missing out on a couple or three Aires further into the Pyrenees - what had I been thinking of?

It was a really long slog all the way mainly in second and third gear due to the road conditions. We also had a two-and-a-half hour delay in a traffic jam!  By the time we got through it whatever it was had been cleared and we're none the wiser as to the cause. The delay did give us a chance to enjoy the winter wonderland scenery, eat lunch and drink tea, unlike the poor folks in their cars.

Arriving at Pamplona it was dark, snow still falling and a nightmare to navigate - and when we got to our parking area it was impossible to access (shows the value of proper inspected and reviewed stopovers!) so we pressed on until we reached a petrol forecourt that wasn't too badly snowed up. Checking my notes I put in the co-ords of the next nearest place and was delighted to find it was only a few kms away. We found the Aire and parked up with another van (British). Unfortunately the snow covering had brought out the boy racers so we had to put up with their skid practice for a while but apart from that we hoped for a quiet night.

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